Only four nations fund Czech ammo initiative for Ukraine


Only Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Portugal have contributed funds for purchasing ammunition for Ukraine under the Czech-led initiative, Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová said, the pan-European media network Euractiv reported on May 29.

She called on European allies to contribute financially to the Czech ammunition initiative.

While the number of countries pledging financial support is growing, only a few have actually sent the money.

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"Funds flow to us gradually; we cannot buy ammunition on debt," Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová said, highlighting logistical and financial challenges.

"If some countries have signed a memorandum but have not yet sent funds, we cannot proceed with acquisitions. It is a bit of an appeal to those governments which have already signed memorandums to send the money."

The first tens of thousands of ammunition units will be delivered to Ukraine in early June, with the country expected to receive the first batch in the coming days.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said earlier that the funds collected to date would be enough to purchase 500,000 units of ammunition by the end of 2024.

"It can change the situation on the battlefield," she said during a press conference in Prague.

Czech initiative on ammunition procurement for Ukraine

Czech President Petr Pavel first announced the possibility of purchasing 800,000 shells for Ukraine on Feb. 17.

Czechia secured commitments for 500,000 155mm shells and 300,000 122mm shells, he said, though he did not disclose the sources. Several other European nations joined the Czech initiative.

Read also: Ukrainian PM Shmyhal meets with 5 EU leaders to discuss air defense and ammunition purchases

The plan is believed to involve spending about $2 billion to purchase shells from South Africa and South Korea, a Ukrainian military representative told NV.

Allies had already acquired the necessary funding to purchase the shells, it was announced on March 7.

Czechia purchased 800,000 artillery shells from South Korea, South Africa, and Turkey, and could deliver them to Ukraine in a few weeks, Germany’s Bild reported on March 11.

Read also: Czech PM supports Ukraine using Western weapons on Russian territory

Ukraine will receive 1.5 million artillery shells from the initiative within a year, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said in April.

Ukraine will receive the first batch of 155mm shells in June, "in the next few days," he said on May 28.

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